A dead tree.

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
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Charlotte area, North Carolina
What are the odds that THIS eBay tree will survive? The guy stuck it in a 1 gallon pot on January 2 and is now selling it on eBay for $150.

Kindling waiting to happen

I love this photo of the "roots".


If you buy this tree I've got a cord of hardwood you might be interested in - $150 per log.
This seller was the subject of a slight food fight on bonsaiTalk. Several members of this forum posted on that thread as well.

We're not going to beat him up are we? Geez.
Ahhh I missed it. Such great source material too. Has the guy ever heard of using a pickaxe and shovel?
Graydon, I'm leaving this alone, even if.....:x
Yeah, I saw this guy on ebay too..... He actually has a few of them on there. As for the amount of roots- that doesn't bother me that much. I have seen yamadori live on much less and actually grow for a few years and still healthy as ever. What bothers me the most is the fact all his trees have been bare rooted!! Quite honestly that is what scares me the most. And the huge tear in the lower trunk.... like it was ripped out of the ground.
I wouldn't buy this tree or any of his for that matter. But if I knew they were alive for a while and pushing new growth I would be more willing (although wouldn't buy from anyone since I have access to much better).

Another thing to think about is the family jewels it takes to post something like that on the web let alone for sale!!!

My 2 cents....

As for the amount of roots- that doesn't bother me that much.

Do you have any advice for how to handle a tree with a base like this? I have lost big junipers with substantially more rootage than this. I have improved my success rate by reducing foilage a LOT more than what this guy had in his listing, and leaving the tree in total shade for 8 - 12 weeks until I start to see fresh growth peaking out at the tips. Then I move it into filtered light (under shade cloth or under burlap) for another 4-8 weeks (depending on season, heat, etc). Looking at a tree in this condition I assume it is a "dead man walking" i.e. foilage might still be green due to sap still in the tree, but the roots are either dry and dead, or inadequate to provide sustenance to the crown & branches.

BTW - the guy said in his listing that he tore the tree in half while "collecting" it. At one point the other tree was on eBay but it is there no longer. It almost looks like he tied a chain to it and his trunk and yanked it out of the ground :)
A technique I have used successfully with trees that got root rot, over root pruned, or collected with few roots is using sphagnum moss. If this were my juniper, I would have potted it in 100% fresh sphagnum moss.

Sphagnum moss is the substrate we use for air-layers and ground layers where we are coaxing root growth from areas where there are none, what else would be more natural? It is no secret that root development just happens amazingly well in sphagnum moss.

Within a few months, this juniper would have new roots and then it could have been up-potted into a larger container, leaving the sphagnum moss and new roots untouched and only putting good bonsai soil under, around and above it. At the next re-potting, the moss could have been removed completely or partially.

Peter Chan wrote about this technique also in one of his books, as I am not at home now, I don't have access to which one exactly.

Will Heath
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